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Title: Active control of vehicle suspension
Author: Abouel-Nour, Aly
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 704X
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 1989
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Various types of actively controlled suspension systems for automotive or agricultural applications are theoretically studied on the basis of the well known quarter car model subjected to realistic inputs chosen to represent road surface/forward vehicle speed combinations for a range of different conditions. The vehicle response is evaluated through the performance criteria (the ride comfort, dynamic tyre load and suspension working space) and power requirements (the power input to actuator, power dissipated in damper or actuator and power fluctuation in spring and tyre). The range of suspension systems includes fully active, semi-active, slow-active, single state feedback active, two state switchable damper, continuously variable damper and conventional passive. Computer programmes relating to the general dynamic modelling of ground vehicle suspension systems (generation of the artificial road, random process analysis and human response criteria) are designed. Computer programmes relating specifically to vehicle ride (linear or non linear), derivation of responses and power calculations for linear or non linear models, as well as performance criteria and optimal control of vehicle suspension are also designed. The switchable damper system which involves continuously switching between two discrete settings is of considerable interest because such dampers are currently available. It is shown to offer worthwhile improvements over passive systems in terms of ride performance if a simple control law is followed. Linear optimal control theory is used to obtain the optimal feedback gains of the fully active and slow-active suspension systems. The behaviour of the fully active linear control systems and the possibility of improving their performance by using a non-linear control law is investigated. The performances of the four and two state feedback slow-active systems, using an actuator with limited frequency response up to 3 Hz, are similar. In terms of the power demand, there is little difference between the fully active and slow-active systems, configured with a conventional passive spring in parallel with the actuator, and their ride performances are also similar. The behaviour of the semi-active systems are evaluated with a control law based exactly on the optimal control of the fully active system, except that no power input is available. A method of comparing performance and power requirements is based on the practical viewpoint that the suspension designer is essentially allocated a given amount of working space and must optimise the suspension within this constraint. Hence, all the competing systems are compared on the basis of equal workspace contours. Conclusions and suggestions for further work are discussed with particular reference to the relationship between the predictive models and their practical usefulness in assisting the designer of advanced suspension systems for on and off - road vehicles.
Supervisor: Crolla, D. A. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available